Bernie Sander’s Inauguration Fit

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Lindsay Boyette, Photographer

The 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden would not have been the same without Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders, former presidential candidate, is an American politician who serves as a United States senator from Vermont. By now, most everyone has probably seen the photo taken by Brendan Smialowski, a Washington-based photojournalist, of Bernie Sanders at Capitol Hill attending this year’s inauguration in oversized mittens and a brown coat, sitting socially distanced on a folding chair with crossed legs and arms.

The photo of Bernie Sanders in his casual inauguration outfit is currently going viral. Not only is it going viral, but it is also being photoshopped and turned into memes with funny captions and different iterations. So far, Sanders has been photoshopped onto the moon, into classic movies, into famous paintings, and onto historical landmarks. A day after the inauguration, Sanders appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers where the TV host asked the 79 year old politician if he was aware of the viral photo of himself. Sanders stated that he was not aware, but when shown, he decided to have some fun with the photo himself.

Sanders willingly took the photo and put it on sweatshirts and t-shirts to sell for $45 in his campaign store with 100% of the proceeds going to Meals on Wheels Vermont. Not only will Sanders be seen on the moon, in classic movies, and on famous paintings, now he is also ending up in many people’s closets and dressers. The demand for his inauguration apparel is unreal and selling out quickly. Sanders’ campaign is not the only one experiencing overwhelming demand for inauguration apparel, so is Vermont teacher and mitten maker Jen Ellis. The iconic mittens Sanders wore in the photo were handcrafted by Jen Ellis and are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece from recycled plastic bottles. Just like Sanders’ sweatshirts and t-shirts, Ellis’ mittens flew off the shelves in less than 24 hours. Sanders’ inauguration photo did not just go viral, it also created a fashion trend.